Tiger's Eye Café Nerves


Ruth was... nervous. Ruth didn't normally get nervous. Just. It had been over a month since she met Charlie at the cafe. Several more since she met Owen. No word from either of them about how things were going with this so-called ambush.

Her concerns led her back to Tiger's Eye Cafe where she noticed a young woman behind the counter. A young woman who absolutely had to be the tiger Charlie mentioned. The would-be leader. Opal Wash didn't feel like a claimed city. Maybe it didn't work out? Or maybe they ended up elsewhere?

Still, she tried not to openly frown as she approached the counter, eyeing the younger woman behind it. Her own tiger paced expectantly, eager to meet her as well.

"One boba please." Ruth said as she got to the front of the line. Not yet familiar enough with the menu to select a flavour of boba. She had other intentions that afternoon.


It felt good to be working, the chaos of looking for a place and moving to Opal had left her wholly BUSHED in a way she'd never felt before; why was adulting hard? She mildly disliked it! BUT she was proving herself more as an adult and hopefully a capable leader one day soon!

Taking over for one of her employe's she was at the counter when a friendly voice sounded and she looked up.

"Any special...OH! Hello! " she happily said, excitement on both her face as the golden tiger chuffed a hello, "Yea uhm...any special flavor with that boba? And welcome to Tigers Eye, I'm Amira, " she said, happily introducing herself.

She could scream, another tiger!
The other woman lit up, and it was sort of hard to not find her immediately endearing as a result. Ruth shifted her weight from one foot to the other and shook her head.

"Ruth," She greeted before adding, "I'll take whatever you recommend." The easy kind of customer. Hopefully. She wouldn't complain about it after either if she hated it. The tiger wanted to reach out, make contact. Ruth held her back temporarily.
"It's so great to meet you, " she told her, meaning it genuinely as she thought for a moment and punched it in and got a large size, "Brown sugar boba, can't go wrong, " Amira promised her as she tucked in the order.

"Is this your first time up here? " she was unaware that Charlie had met her yet, that stinker!
Perfect. It was easier to concentrate on getting to know Amira if she didn't have to think about what to order. So, thank you, Amira.

The question was concerning. Had her meeting with Charlie gone so poorly that he didn't think to mention it? Or was she just overthinking here?

"No. I've, uh, met Charlie once? Here."

Ruth removed her wallet to pay for her drink.
"Oh that's so good to know! I've been busy moving so I sadly haven't been around so he amazingly was holding down the place for me, " she explained as she got her drink and then picked up her own hot cocoa as the server returned from their break.

Shaking her head at Rush digging in her wallet.

"Nope, on me! It's my own little welcome to a fellow striped friend, " Amira told her as she held the drink out to her.
Ah, well, that put things into perspective then. Amira had been busy. So, no ambush then? It didn't feel like it but that didn't make it so.

But she offered a free drink and while Ruth's pride threatened to argue that, she bit down on her tongue.

"Thank you. That's kind of you." A fellow-striped friend, indeed. Ruth had a glance over her shoulder to make sure no one was in hearing distance. Didn't seem like it.

"Do you have time to sit?"
Amira took a sip of her warm drink before nodding, motioning for her to follow her, "I do, if you want, I can take you to a nice place out back that Charlie and I designed, for those like us," Amira offered to her.

It was cozy and kept them from having to worry about extra ears.
Oh? That was intriguing. Spoke volumes about Amira's intent. Maybe she was still looking to create an ambush? Or maybe there were others?

"Lead the way," Ruth gestured with a hand before she accepted the drink.
Amira led her outside and then around the back. There was a fair bit of back space to the cafe but then there was a thick fencing with creeping vines clinging to it separating with a No Trespassers sign.

"So, you are welcome back her any time, you're a tiger and we made this space for tigers after all...I know I don't have an Ambush going yet and sadly one of the future members had to leave due to a family emergency, " she told her a bit sadly as she walked around to then let Rush take in the space.

the space

Ruth smiled a bit as she took in the space. It was nice. Homey. It showed clear signs of Amira putting in a lot of effort. Charlie, too, probably, based on what she knew of the man.

"It's beautiful."

It also explained the lack of contact, too. They lost a potential member to family obligations. Too bad.

"Sorry the ambush didn't work out." Who knew if Owen was even still around? She wondered if he was the other potential member. Would explain a few things, too, but somehow Ruth doubted Owen was in touch with any family.
"I'm glad you like it! We have bed rooms towards the back, a room has medical supplies since Charlie said he'd be there to help us if we got hurt...which happens so much it's not even funny, " she laughed as she took a sip of her drink.

"Mm no...I still have faith it's going to happen and then Opal Wash will be our territory. Just need one more tiger, " she told her with a confident voice.

She wasn't worried at all, she had faith that they'd make an ambush.

"Oh that is me assuming you'd want to join...I don't want to assume but you know Charlie and he has a really great judge of character, " she told her with a smile as she took another drink. Also sorry, she was a hyper feline.
They got hurt a lot. That was interesting. Ruth clocked it, saved that tidbit of information for later before Amira continued.

Amira spoke a lot. Offered a lot of information with very little questions needed from Ruth. She appreciated the trust already formed but was wary of the young woman’s instantaneous belief Ruth had good intentions. She did. But. Yeah. Better to hold your cards close, right?

"Been thinking about it. Is it just us three?"
"For the moment, yea...I had met another tiger but he hasn't shown stripe nor tail at all after he seemed over the moon for it, " she said with a little shrug of her shoulders.

Amira would sit on one of the comfortable couches.

"I'm trying to convince my brother to come here to join but he's a stubborn striped pain in my butt, " she joked, her head shaking some as she took another sip of her drink.
Oh, so her brother was a tiger too. Ruth wondered if that meant one of them had turned the other? Likely. She did wonder who this mystery tiger was. Owen? Someone else?

Hard to say!

"That’s too bad. Have you been tigers a long time?"
Nodding her head.

"Whole lives, we were born like this. He's older than me by a couple of years. " she explained casually.
Their. Whole. Lives. Ruth. They were fucking born tigers.

What the fuck?

She frowned gently, trying to wrap her head around the concept.

"That’s possible?"
Nodding her head.

"Yes, uhm it takes a lot to bring a healthy were baby into the world but I was never turned like my Ba was or my mom had been; they were bitten and had my brother and I. " Amira explained; she didn't have to explain how babies were made did she?
Ah. Wow. That was. Interesting. New information, certainly. Funny how Ruth could still learn new things after two decades of being a tiger.

"That’s cool. What was growing up like?"

Sorry, Amira. Ruth had questions.
"Different, i grew up fast like...i'm nearly seventeen now...I used to only be able to shift on full moons- not fun as I enjoy that part of me, " Amira explained.

Her age grew less and less of a worry to her, she was running a business after all and was looking to lead an ambush; she'd be fine.

"Hmm...but I've always had my tiger; never been a separation or adjusting really for us. I could sit like this as easily as a person or a tiger and not bat an eye- if that makes sense. "
Nearly seventeen.


She was only sixteen years old and wanting to run an ambush?

Ruth had… doubts. But the young… woman? Girl? Teenager? Anyway, Amira was running her own business. Why wasn’t she in school? How the fuck? What????

Ruth was a speechless for a moment, gathering her thoughts.

"Right." Skeptical, she tried not to show it on her face as she took a sip of her drink. Which was fine. Not really her thing but she wouldn’t dare complain when she made Amira choose for her.

"I imagine growing up was very different for you then?" Not that Amira would really know or understand that. She had literally never been human. What!
Amira saw it, the look on her face; she was pretty used to it at this point.

Butterscotch simply chuffed a bit, resting and watching with her vibrant pink eyes.

"From what I've been told and learnt how people my age normally grow up...yea but I can't change it...I became an adult when i was six years old. I already graduated high school drive, and run a business so I mean, cant be too bad the way I grew up, " she didn't tack on that she didn't get to do a whole lot of normal kid playing stuff but that was just details.

Or that she lost people that she loved and cared about either.
Wait. Whaaaaaaaaaaaat!!!!

An adult at SIX?! How was that even possible? Ruth stole another sip of her drink as she considered it. How old was she really then? If she was an adult at six? Was she mentally an adult at six or-? What the fuck!

Ruth hid her emotions well enough, taking it all in thoughtfully as she panicked inwardly at the idea of being an adult at age six. It was hard not to think of the young woman as a child still.

"Of course not. I didn’t mean to imply otherwise," Ruth commented swiftly once she got control of her frenzied thoughts.

"Seems like you’ve done well for yourself."
Amira smiled, waving at it some.

"No its okay, really...I've met and made a lot of great friends here- a bunch of them are were leaders themselves actually, " sh explained as she took another sip before sighing some.

"I hope...I'm proud though, never thought I'd be here when I moved here three years ago, " Amira said happily, like nothing phased her in the slightest.
Three years ago she was thirteen. Don't think about it too much, Ruth. You were literally more than twice this woman's age.

Still, it was difficult not to see the fortitude and strength the young woman had, even in her youth. The older tiger nodded.

"What makes you want to lead your own ambush?" Ruth asked, genuinely curious.
Standing up as she went over to the window that over looked the river, enjoying the view and sound before facing Ruth again.

"When I moved here three years ago, I was alone. My ba and brother stayed behind in Alaska to finish up some...loose ends but they were helped up longer, " she said with a small sigh, "Well, I met people here; started working for a bear leader and he is great and there was one bear who was like a brother to me...he helped me grow my confidence and see that I could do a lot more if I put my mind to it I just had to try...the loneliness came in again and I wondered if other tigers felt like me, " Amira told her as she played with her cup.

"So...I asked questions...learned from others and I just kept feeling like I want that. To be there for others like us, something safe. See, I know about tigers very well and also know we're all different...I know about ambushes and I know how to help others and keep safe. I want to offer what I know to others, offer a safe place, and something to eat to them," she told her honestly. She knew it was a mouth full but she wanted to be honest to let her know that she meant it and wanted to take this jump.
Amira started at the beginning of her Ridgefield journey and Ruth leaned forward to listen. It was pretty straightforward. She felt alone. She wanted to help people and provide a safe space. Ruth took it all in for a moment, considering the woman's age and experience. She'd been like this her whole life but she was still very, very young. She had a business she seemed to run well, connections to other shifters in the area and a seemingly decent understanding of how things worked.

"That's very noble of you," Ruth offered with a nod. "How long have you known Charlie?" She had to assume he was the only other tiger in the area.
"Over a year now, when he was new to it all- we met at the deli but yea, a year and we meet up pretty regularly; eating, shifting; normal stuff I assume. Also yes, he knows about me too, I don't hide it. " Amira told her, not wanting her to think it was some secret.

Most didn't know because it never came up truthfully.

She just let it be and would say something if someone asked.
Over a year. So, it was an established friendship. Perhaps even a mentorship for Charlie since he was so new to it all. Ruth nodded and had another sip of drink.

"Thank you for telling me," She offered. "I don't exactly yet know what I want, but I would be happy to get to know both of you more."

An ambush would be great but perhaps when Ruth was certain about things. Wasn't like she was the last piece of the puzzle, anyway. They had time.
Smiling at that, "Thats fine. The door is always open here for you, " she promised her as she went and fished out a spare keyfob for her. This place was only for tigers and so, other tigers were welcome even if there was no ambush.

"I'd love that- oh what about getting together and doing a dinner and games or a lunch and shifting together for the tigers? " she asked since she knew they referred to the tigers a little differently than she did.

Butterscotch simply chuffed and rumbled happily at the idea of wrestling with other tigers.
A get-together with dinner and games or a lunch with shifting. Ruth knew which one the tiger preferred but maybe she wanted to get to know the people more first before getting to know their tigers.

"Either would be fine. Perhaps we could start with dinner." And, uh, games?
"Sounds good to me; may I get your number? " she asked, her voice sweet and polite as she pulled out her cell phone from a surprisingly hidden pocket of her outfit.

"Also do you have any food you don't like...I like to cook, " that was an understatement of the century.
Ruth nodded at the question and pulled out her phone as well.

"I'll eat anything, promise." She laughed and would exchange numbers with the young tiger.
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